April 29, 2017
We are not ice free just yet but we are gaining everyday. The Greenville end of Moosehead is still iced in but from the East Outlet to Rockwood appears to be ice free. A stiff wind will likely finish the job. The mild weather and rain has done away with most of the woods snow, at least around here. There is still snow around as you go north. The smelt have even begun to run in a couple local ponds. Weather prospects look good for the weekend. We’re guessing we’ll start to hear ice-out reports all next week.
The rain coupled with snowmelt has topped off all the lakes so the water guys are now dumping excess run-off. The East Outlet and the Moose River are currently + or – 5000 cfs, in the woods flood stage. Whatever water that flows from the woods above Jackman has to keep going to the sea. It may not be pretty but high water this time of season isn’t a bad thing if you fish. Take the East Outlet high water; It takes flood gates to put this kind of water into the river. When flood gates are opened salmon, brook trout and even lake trout that hang around the dam are washed into the river plus when a big flow hits Indian Pond this time of season a certain percentage of salmon, gathered at the mouth, will decide to head upriver. Salmon love a heavy current. When flow finally calms down the East Outlet should be full of fish from top to bottom. Now for the Moose River; when early season high water happens Brassua Lake smelt are dumped into the river and will likely pull fish into the river earlier that usual. The smelt run shouldn’t kick in there for another week or more.
At last report the Roach River was cranking, over 600 cfs. Salmon gathered at the mouth, to feast on the smelt run, will make a run into into the river. They’ll remain in the river until the water lowers to summer flow sometime in late May or June.
We just got a notice that Chesuncook if full and flood gates at Ripogenus Dam will be opened soon. When this happens mega amounts of smelt are dumped into the river and there will be an all you can eat banquet for river salmon that have been eking out a living all winter hunting down nymphs.
The bottom line is when flows do come under control we’ll should see some wonderful river fishing. And if you saw the biologist’s fall, Moosehead salmon census report and their “Best Growth Rate” in forever report, we should be in for some memorable early season fishing.
It’ll take your heaviest sinking line and a big fly that looks a lot like a smelt to get the job done. And fish will smash your streamer like they want to take your rod with them.
There is a window of opportunity in our near future. Now is the time to keep your eye on water flows. Go to Waterline where you will find up to date flows. http://www.h2oline.com/default.aspx?pg=st&op=ME
So the stars are lining up nicely. Now the one component we need is for the fish Gods to put the squeeze on any more major rain events.
The Maine Guide Fly Shop is officially opening for the season tomorrow, April 29th. Stop by and say hi on your way through.